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Nuclear plan powers ahead
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A breakthrough in the preliminary preparation work for the construction of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant has been made after China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC) signed an agreement with French nuclear company Areva to import two nuclear islands early this week.


CGNPC sources said the preliminary work for the 8-billion-euro project will be fast-tracked. The two reactors, with a capacity of 1.7 million kilowatts each, will be built before 2010 with operation slated to begin in 2014, and are set to play a big part in easing Guangdong's electricity shortage.


CGNPC also signed an agreement to buy 35 percent of the production of UraMin, a uranium mining company under French State-owned Areva, on Monday, when French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited China.


The nuclear power plant has, so far, become the largest Sino-foreign joint venture in the southern Chinese province, according to Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily.


The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant is one of several nuclear projects that energy-thirsty Guangdong Province is seeking foreign financial support, cooperation, reactors and related equipment and technologies for construction.


Guangdong has stepped up efforts to produce more nuclear power, with an aim to meet more than 20 percent of its energy supply before 2020, Nanfang Daily reported.


According to the province's ambitious nuclear power industrial development plan, Guangdong will reach a nuclear power installed capacity of 24 million kilowatts in 2020.


To achieve this, the province will have to invest more than 250 billion yuan to develop its nuclear power industry. A total installed capacity of 20 million kilowatts of nuclear power production will have to be constructed before 2020.


"That will offer a myriad of business opportunities for both foreign and domestic nuclear power companies," the paper said.


In addition to the Taishan plant, construction of the surrounding infrastructure for Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant (YNPP) commenced in the province's coastal city of Yangjiang early this year.


The second phase of Ling'ao Nuclear Power Plant in Shenzhen is also scheduled to put into operation by the end of 2010.


(China Daily November 30, 2007)


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